Campaigns

By Sean Sullivan
March 24 at 4:00 am

Senate Democrats’ campaign arm is pushing back against data modeling whiz Nate Silver, who projects that Republicans are now favored to win the Senate majority.

In a memo released Monday morning, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee executive director Guy Cecil pointed to red states where Democrats surpassed expectations in 2012 in a rebuttal to Silver.

“Nate Silver and the staff at FiveThirtyEight are doing groundbreaking work, but, as they have noted, they have to base their forecasts on a scarce supply of public polls. In some cases more than half of these polls come from GOP polling outfits,” writes Cecil. “This was one reason why FiveThirtyEight forecasts in North Dakota and Montana were so far off in 2012. In fact, in August of 2012 Silver forecasted a 61% likelihood that Republicans would pick up enough seats to claim the majority. Three months later Democrats went on to win 55 seats.”

In his latest Senate forecast, Silver writes that Republicans have seized the upper hand in the battle for the Senate, which last summer looked like a tossup.

“We think the Republicans are now slight favorites to win at least six seats and capture the chamber,” Silver writes on fivethirtyeight.com. “The Democrats’ position has deteriorated somewhat since last summer, with President Obama’s approval ratings down to 42 or 43 percent from an average of about 45 percent before. Furthermore, as compared with 2010 or 2012, the GOP has done a better job of recruiting credible candidates, with some exceptions.”

To read entire story, click here.